Today I’m featuring an article by Tasmanian author, Ric Bennett. Ric’s novel, The Moses Prophecy, is a mythology-inspired adventure story.
‘What process did you use to write your book and what advice would you give to young aspiring writers?’, I was asked.
Goodness me. Who am I, a first time writer with no previous experience at writing a novel and who has never attended any story writing courses, to give advice about writing a novel?
Being an artist and musician/songwriter/composer certainly helped. I’m a very visual and auditory person and my imagination does run riot quite often.
My writing style has been described as ‘cinematic’. While thinking of ideas and dialogue I actually saw my story played out like a movie on a cinema screen. I wrote about what I was seeing and hearing.
A well-known author told me that with the appropriate training I could become a good screenwriter. I guess that fits with my style being called ‘cinematic’.
I also had conversations with my main character. Never having done this before I figured this was normal for all writers, until I found out otherwise. Well, it worked for me.
The one piece of advice I would offer is this. Enjoy what you are doing. If you have a story and you believe you can write it down in a coherent way, without losing the plot (excuse the pun), then do so. Don’t be put off by anyone telling you can’t do it. And don’t be put off by adverse criticism. You have to believe in yourself.
The idea for my book was in my head for about fifteen years before I had the opportunity to get it out and let it take form as a coherent story. It involved a lot of research into historical data that I needed for the plot. Although the story came out of my imagination, it is fiction, set in the present but woven around facts, myths and legends. So much so that the reader will not know what is true and what isn’t. And this is entirely intentional.
Once you have the story down, and that may take many re-writes, additions and deletions before you are satisfied, then get a good editor. That may mean more re-writes but it’s worth it, especially if you want to submit it to publishers.
Ric Bennett is an artist, musician and writer who settled in Derby, Tasmania in 2014. The Moses Prophecy is set in London, Washington, Melbourne, Israel and Tasmania and is Ric’s first novel.
I will be publishing another interview with Ric in June, as part of the Dorset Art & Craft Festival.